Ed Gillespie: Romney benefits from longer primary season
March 18th, 2012
11:56 AM ET
10 years ago

Ed Gillespie: Romney benefits from longer primary season

(CNN) - While a brokered Republican convention in August would be "fractious," former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie insisted Sunday that the GOP nominating process still works.

"I think the process is healthy," Gillespie said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think a competitive primary is going to result in a nominee who is stronger at the end of the process."

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Gillespie, a supporter of Mitt Romney, said he believes the extended nominating season is sharpening the former Massachusetts governor for a head-to-head contest with President Barack Obama later this year.

"I think (Romney) is the likely nominee. I think the challenge he is facing right now is making him a better candidate," Gillespie told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Choosing a candidate soon will prevent a divisive showdown at the Republican National Convention in August, Gillespie argued.

"I don't think it would be healthy. I think it's fractious," Gillespie said of a situation in which none of the four Republican contenders secured the nomination before the convention. "I think we'd be better off to have a nominee clearly identified and making the case against President Obama for as long as we can."

On the same program, Obama's former White House communications director, Anita Dunn, said the front-running Romney has been unable so far to “close the deal” on the nomination due to an “inability to connect with voters.”

“Part of this process is really to give these people an ability to get out there and connect with voters,” Dunn said. “The difference between Romney and some of the other candidates who have had that ability is an authenticity, a willingness to stick to principles and say what he believes.”

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soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. king

    Hey the longer the people finds out what mitten all about they will turn their minds. They will find out that mitten only experience is to give money to the few at the expended of the majority.

    March 18, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Cam

    Wat a surprise; the establishment GOP backing the establishment candidate. Next thing you know, they'll be bragging about Goldman Sachs donating large sums to Romney. Romney is nothing more than a puppet.

    Even though the media has blacked out coverage of Ron Paul, I will continue to support him and will only vote for him. I will not vote Romney; like Obama, he supports NDAA which includes indefinite detention of American citizens without a trial.

    March 18, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    Romney need American story tell about him , What he says I proud of my self that made lot of money

    March 18, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Debbie

    I love this long season. Truely exposes how far each candidate will go and make promises. We now know that those running on the GOP side are ready to dump the 1st amendment and 19th amendment. We now know that the GOP of today (states and federal) are pushing to be a theocratic monied plutocracy. The question now is what religion we will be. I'm betting on Sharia type claim of Christianity. The type of Christianity that does not follow Christ but uses Christ for political and economic gain. I love this long season because my eyes have been opened to where the hearts and treasures of the candidates and the party really is at.

    March 18, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. John

    And when did Obama close the deal in 2008? AT THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTSION!!

    Dems and the media should stop saying that Mitt is weak because he can't get the religious right to vote for me! There are more normal Republicans out there that will make sure Mitt is nominated! Mitt will soon be over 50% of the delegates needed and then lets see how long it takes Ricky do get to 50%....long time – if at all!

    March 18, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. bret

    These two "Church" candidates, ( one filthy rich,and the other extremist nutbag) have,nt a "Chance" in the general election!!! Face up Gop, you will lose the congress "Also". Your "Hatred of Womens Health is and will be your "Demise" Obama 2012!

    March 18, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Shelby

    Santorum endorsed Mitt Romney in 2008 as a very conservative candidate. Now, santo calls Romney a moderate. Why the flip-flop santo?!

    Santo was also PRO-CHOICE until he ran for Congress, thus I disagree with Ms. Dunn–Santorum is NOT sticking to any principles–rather he's a very deceitful man.

    March 18, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. B

    Give "Romney the Robot" enough rope ad he will hang himself..

    Let the food-fight continue!

    March 18, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. NotFooledByDistractions

    Romneys favorability continues to drop the longer the primaries go on. That's a benefit? The longer primary season just gives Willard more time to change his positions on the issues – if he does win the nomination, he won't know what he actually stands for. Oh, wait, he's already at that point.

    There's a major unmentioned difference between 2008 and todays republican primaries – the two democratic candidates both had broad and strong bases of support – neither of the main republican candidates can make the same claim. The choice for the republicans is between 2 candidates that they don't like or want.

    March 18, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. hotpatata

    Clearly, Ed Gillespie feels he's been out of the spotlight long enough that he can now make grand declarations as a party insider. Unfortunately, too many of us remember what a bumbling idiot this guy is.

    March 18, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. Pander Bear

    I love watching the Romney campaign monkeys try to spin this debacle as something 'healthy'. Romney can't draw 50% support from his own party. What a joke.

    March 18, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    What else is Gillespie going to say? This is hurting 'his' candidate? The length of the contest is not as meaningful as Romney not having a compelling story, helpful experience or an empathetic and charismatic character. In other words, he's last cycle's runner up and looking pretty weak.

    March 18, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The republicans are still fighting the civil war, the civil rights act, Roe v. Wade, social security, medicare, veterans benefits, G I Bills, college loans, and just about any program that helps Americans.

    March 18, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think that the two things that are really helping republicans are their attack on women's rights, and promise of a war with Iran.

    March 18, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. diridi

    good for this idiot. He does not know what he is talking. I think this dog fight should continue till October12. Obama2012.

    March 18, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. Scef

    And the fairy godmother waved her magic wand and the frog became a prince. These repub spin meisters never cease to amaze me, they couldn't tell the truth if their life depended on it.

    March 18, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. mike

    Grew up next door to Ed Gillespie, he comes from a great and giving family. I don't agree politically with him but still proud of everything he has accomplished. Romney is a self serving flip flopper who's robotic responses pander to who ever he is standing in front of. He is not a leader. You no idea what he really believes.

    March 18, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Peace

    When I hear GOP saying let them fight each other and later they will reconcile, I shake my head. They are trying to compare their primaries and Dem primaries in 2008. This is quite different. In 2008 it was between different gender (male & female). Female always do not fight until the end. They are always ready to give up easily and let it go, quite different from men. Men are fighters until the battle is won or lost. And not necessary to reconcile at the end.

    March 18, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. Randy, San Francisco

    A brokered convention would be great TV drama. It certainly will be more interesting than summer re-runs and replacements. What fun...an intra-party take no prisoners battle among diiferent conservative groups: intolerant religious purists, establishment power brokers, hateful anti-immigrant foes, and Tea Party zealots, Since all moderates in the GOP have been purged, a compromise would be difficult resulting in a badly damaged final nominee.

    March 18, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Thomas

    Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie has every episode of Fantasy Island ever recorded on BATA video tapes .

    Mitt Romney / Lawrence Welk

    Restoring our Past 2012

    March 18, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Dave

    Facts are stubborn things: Romney has won more votes, states and delegates than the other candidates. No one can catch him. The blocking only delays his nomination and makes the other candidates look selfish. Romney also polls better against Obama and has raised more money than this contenders. Finally, I would not listen to Annita Dunn. Isn't she the one that loves Mao?

    March 18, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |